|At a time when other institutions set themselves apart from the world, Jefferson placed the purposes of his university at the center of society. This concept, revolutionary in his day, has always shaped the student experience at the University of Virginia. Our goal is to produce graduates who are intellectually adventurous, who are engaged in their communities, and who can lead, not just by virtue of the knowledge they have acquired here, but because they have been steeped in the principles of responsibility, honor, and mutual respect.
Our students take the lead in upholding these principles and in promoting them among their peers. With the help of a new CD-ROM, the Honor Committee is ensuring that new students understand the Honor System. Melissa Stark (College '95), former correspondent for ABC's Monday Night Football, narrates the video portion of the CD, which also contains an interactive segment that follows two possible outcomes of an honor offense. The Honor Committee is using the CD-ROM to reach out to faculty, who also have been invited to attend honor trials to see firsthand how the Honor System works.
Relishing Academic Rigor
The cornerstone of our student experience is the academic rigor of our programs. We offer a challenging and rewarding curriculum that continues to attract extraordinary students from the Commonwealth of Virginia and from every state in the nation. This year, we received nearly 14,700 applications for 3,100 positions in the undergraduate Class of 2007. The first-years who joined us this fall make up the brightest, most diverse, and best prepared group of students ever assembled on the Grounds. Their SAT scores average 1,323 out of a possible 1,600; more than 85 percent of them ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes.
||Students of this caliber seek out and discover an outstanding educational experience at the University. They benefit from faculty who are making significant contributions to their disciplines and whose passion for learning is infectious. Our students also find opportunities for personal development outside the classroom, whether by becoming involved in a student organization or by breaking new ground in a research project.
For models of excellence, they can look to several current and recently graduated students. This past year, John Kiess (College '01) became the University's first recipient of the George J. Mitchell Scholarship, named in honor of the former U.S. senator who played a central role in the Northern Ireland peace process. Mr. Kiess will use the award to study comparative ethnic conflict while at Queens University in Belfast. Political and social thought majors Kathleen Hamm (College '04) and Sean Driscoll (College '04) have been named Truman Scholars for 2003. Selected on the basis of leadership potential, intellectual ability, and their capacity to make a difference in the world, twenty-two University students have won this prestigious award. It carries a stipend of $30,000.